The people of Leeds are being asked for their views on the latest proposed changes to dog control in the city.
The changes proposed include dog walkers being required to carry a bag or have some other way to pick up and remove their dog’s mess, along with a review the places where dogs currently need to be kept on their lead or kept out of altogether. There are also proposals to change the number of dogs that professional walkers can take out at any one time to a maximum of six.
Alongside the changes to dog control orders, views are being sought on whether smoking should be banned in children’s play areas. At present, smoking bans only apply to indoor public spaces. The reasoning is that such measure will continue to reduce the number of children seeing people smoking and being exposed to their smoke.
Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for environment and sustainability said:
“We have specific orders in Leeds to ensure we can balance the needs of dog owners and walkers against the interests of members of the public who are affected by them. We want parks in Leeds to be clean and accessible for all of our residents and we hope that through this consultation, we will be able to improve in these areas.
“Orders such as ensuring dog owners carry bags to clean up after their dogs mean that those enjoying our parks also play a part in being responsible for keeping them clean. However, the reason we are consulting on this is that we don’t want to impose such measures without letting people voice their opinion on the matter.
“I would urge people to take a look at the proposed changes and have their say as part of our public consultation.”
The consultation will run until the 15 December 2017. To find out more about the proposed changes and have your say visit https://www.snapsurveys.com
Dog control orders, now known as public space protection orders currently mean that, a person responsible for a dog is required to:
- Pick up dog faeces left by a dog at all times
- Keep dogs on leads in designated areas. In Leeds this includes all roads, pavements and footpaths (including gated alleyways) next to carriageways, as well as cemeteries, crematoria and some specialist public gardens
- Put dogs on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer
- Ensure dogs do not enter designated exclusion areas. Dog exclusion areas include children’s playgrounds, some sports courts, remembrance and wildlife gardens, and many school grounds
- Limit the number of dogs walked to a maximum of four at a time. We believe that this is a reasonable number as the person responsible for the dogs could find it difficult to control more than four dogs. The exception to this rule is professional dog walkers which are allowed to walk up to six.
Breaching Public Space Protection Orders is a criminal offence and could currently result in a £75 fixed penalty charge. Failure to pay could lead to court and a maximum fine of £1,000. It is proposed that following the consultation the fixed penalty charge will increase to £100
In Autumn 2015, a smoking ban was introduced across all children’s play areas in Leeds in order to reduce the exposure of young people to second hand smoke and for them to see less smoking happening as they grow up. Although there is currently a ban, there is no penalty for failing to comply with the ban, instead relying on social norms and peer pressure to ensure that the ban is effective.
As almost all of the children’s play areas form dog exclusion areas already, the introduction of a Public Space Protection Order allows the opportunity to prosecute or offer an alternative fixed penalty notice for smoking in a children’s play area